Marie Elena Ellis is an Arrente and Warlpiri woman from Central Australia. Her homeland is Amoonguna Community approximately 20 minutes from Alice Springs. Marie Elena is the daughter of Michael Nelson Jakamarra a well known Papunya artist. As a child Marie lived in Katherine with her family however she relocated to Amoonguna with her sister Roseanne as an adult.
Marie describes her childhood as being strongly influenced by traditional family values of Arrente culture and kinship law. Her parents and grandparents played an active role in teaching her Dreaming stories and the values of her people including the language and the land. Her art is largely based on these philosophies.
Her father, aunties and other senior women from Santa Teresa Community taught her painting techniques and you can see the influence of the Keringke art style in her paintings. Marie continued her development and progress in art and has been involved with several community art centres. Marie’s Dreaming is “Bush Tucker” and connects back to the importance of the land and what is valued and needs to be maintained in order to keep Arrente values strong within families.
Marie is a strong advocate for her local community and along with her sister, Roseanne, together they have been instrumental in supporting art development within their community.